Monday, January 17, 2011

Reflections on December Trip 2010-2011

The last day at the airport, by Brian Gonzalez:
Reflecting back on everything that has happened. Looking back at osbg and what we have learned so far. From watching documentaries and having conversations on how oppression affects everyone to meeting the saint of sustainable farming brian gautraux i have learned more in the ten days of being here than I would ever learn in a year of school. Learning about the basic survival needs and putting the into play. These are luxuries that we have and I have gotten way too reliant on them. Meeting college students and watching them learn and have intimate group conversations with highschoolers was one of the best parts about this. We met with students from oxydental and learned alot from and qbout them. Most of them living in Los Angeles, speaking to them about the new York lifestyle was probably as exciting for them as it was for us to learn about their students. Meeting queen aphi aka sunflower was one of the most exciting parts of this trip. The first thing that we heard about her was that she lives on 10 of the 40 acres that had been inherited by freed slaves after slavery was abolished. She had an outstanding personality. We helped her put up a gate around her house so that she wouldnt have to worry people sabotaging her plan to turn her home into a community center. We had to chop away at what seemed an endless barrage of vines with thorns. But sure enough, the ny2no and adelphi volunteers got it done. Knowing that we were helping in ways the government would never even consider felt really good. The scary part about this was drilling holes into the ground for the fence post. We heard that the gas line inspectors didn't do their job and didn't mark the gas and electricity lines raised the constant fear of us hitting it. A simple job that needs to be done, delayed probably because they don't care about the people of their land and their land.

Brian gautraux has a fish farm of thousands of talapia and a few thousand catfish. All of this done without the fear of overpopulation, species invasion, and only recycled water. This grow operation is probably one of the biggest in the country. And yet he takes care of it by himself with his family. Him, his wife, and their ten adopted children. This experience was truly inspirational. Seeing his free range chickens and being able to hold them. To touching his his free range cows, and not having to fear them stabbing us with their horns. Everything was a diverse group of animals living together. Everything was reused and recycled. From the compost from a nearby horse race track, to the nutrient rich water his fish produced. I fell in love with how friendly this man was and the fact that he took time out of his day to give us a tour meant a lot. Especially because as I said before he did all of this work on his 22 acres by himself. And he also worked on cars to bring money in and pay bills. Also learning that the USDA has went to his home and have harassed him and he just finds loop holes was also amazing. His will for a better and happy life was astonishing. Although it's saddening that the government doesn't care about better and healthier living , and instead the money matters more is horrendous. The quote "America loves convenience" stuck out to me throughout this trip. And it has been proven to me time and time again in new Orleans in the last 9 days I've been here.

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